Narrow house

TRU Architects designs Bugok Friday House with outdoor living spaces

Traditional hanok houses from South Korea inspired the design of this compact mountainside house in Bugok, Changnyeong County, which has semi-outdoor spaces for relaxing in the summer.

Bugok Friday House was designed by Seoul-based TRU Architects for a family who wanted a countryside retreat that they could visit on weekends from their primary residence in the South Korean capital.

Bugok Friday House was designed by TRU Architects

The house is built on a narrow site measuring 18 meters long by only four meters wide. Its setting inspired its design, which aims to make the most of the views of the nearby Bukhansan Mountains.

The project is shortlisted for the rural house category at the Dezeen Awards 2022.

Exterior image of Bugok Friday House facade
The house is located in South Korea

Bugok Friday House’s rooms – a living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom – are arranged in a single row so that the family can admire the scenery from each space.

“Our goal was to design a home where they could enjoy indoor and outdoor views of the stunning mountains and a quiet village,” said TRU Architects.

Image of a person sitting on the bridge surrounding Bugok Friday House
It was built on a small site

The building’s design is based on traditional Korean hanok houses, which typically feature simple pitched roofs with extended eaves. Hanok houses also often incorporate passive solutions to heat and cool the interiors.

A large overhanging roof supported by a row of columns shields the living spaces of Bugok Friday House from direct sunlight during the hot summer months, while allowing winter sunlight to warm the rooms.

The building is also raised above the ground so that cooling breezes passing below can penetrate through the ground.

A wooden deck that extends around the house is reminiscent of the traditional covered balconies called toen-maru. The bridge connects to a semi-outdoor room that has been informed by another typical feature of hanok houses, the daecheong-maru.

Interior image of living space in Bugok Friday House
The house occupies a single floor

In total, approximately 23 square meters of the 80 square meter building’s built area includes covered outdoor spaces that provide cool, shaded areas for the family to gather and relax.

As with traditional hanok houses, the landscaping of the site is kept simple to keep the viewer’s attention on the landscape. Various species of flowering trees placed so that they are visible from inside the house will bloom at different times of the year.

Interior image of bathroom space in Bugok Friday House
The interior features an open concept design

The building has a corrugated iron roof which also served as formwork for the exterior exposed concrete walls. A horizontal reference separates the wavy upper part of the wall from the smooth lower part.

Inside the house, TRU Architects designed the main dining and living space with a level shift on either side of the central island, so those seated to one side can converse at eye level with those standing on the other side.

Image of covered outdoor area in South Korean house
The outdoor spaces are covered and shaded

The living room is positioned on one side of the entrance hall of the house, with a bathroom, storage space and a sleeping area on the other side of the house.

A house on a Scottish island that references relics of farm buildings and an Italian house with a ficus growing in the center of the living space are also shortlisted in the rural house category for the 2022 Dezeen Awards.

The photography is by Yousub Song.